stuff and things

30 May 2010

Am I a Hoarder?

One of my close relatives, who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with "Shandy," called me a "hoarder" the other day.

True, I had hauled home yet another bookshelf the day before, donated by my friend Jack who's soon moving away (sigh ...) to Montana. But, I argued, I was clearing out our shed, emptying three or four moving boxes of our art supplies, and putting them where we could access them and USE them. To no avail. Even I had to admit, when looking around my over-stuffed studio, that I'd saved every sewing pattern I'd ever bought, and that anyone else had ever bought and given away to a thrift shop or yard sale, too. It was partially "Shandy's" fault, I pondered. After all, his mother had just given me the most delightful gift: an entire box of mid-Sixties to early-Seventies clothing patterns. A treasure, every one! Who could resist?

I continued to survey the scene of the crime. Quilting cottons, although neatly hoarded stored in bins, filled an entire studio wall plus the whole area under two 8' by 4' Cost-co tables.

The room's closet revealed an entire wall of shelves devoted to thread. On the other side of the closet hulked two large dressers, underutilized, but with piles of my garment fabric on top, stretching up to the uppermost closet shelf.

My paper arts collection ... stamps, inks, dies, papers ... was growing with each weekly coupon from JoAnne or Michaels. Formerly stacked atop an Ikea shelf/bin of unfinished fiber objects (UFOs), the nicely arranged Ikea storage boxes were now arrayed atop my two tables (see above), newly displaced by the new art-supplies shelf.

Being a "hoarder" is a relatively new concept. Formerly, I had heard the term in reference to people who rescue many more animals (and keep them) than they can care for in tip-top fashion. Then, one of my quilting friends said she couldn't have our quilt group over because she was a "hoarder," diagnosed with a psychological condition that fills up one's house.

I decided to try and redeem my reputation with "Shandy" by heading to our storage shed and getting rid of any unnecessaries. Hmmm. My eye fell on four big boxes packed with every issue, from day one, of Quilter's Newsletter magazine, given to me by a fellow quilter (when no one else in our group, wisely, would take them). History in the making! The entire collection, a treasure!

Any takers?


Samantha Zeitlin said...

I doubt you're that bad - I've seen your house. There's someone I used to work with who could go on the reality tv-show: stuff literally packed to the ceiling. Clearly a serious condition in her case. And a fire hazard.

We're in the midst of moving to San Francisco, and in the process realized we have to get rid of about half of our stuff, since the new loft is much smaller than our place in San Diego. It's kind of liberating, although now we're dreading the next step: shopping for new things that will be more appropriate for the new place. It's kind of overwhelming. My tendency to hang onto things has been primarily for two reasons: 1) sentimental nonsense and 2) to avoid having to do more shopping. I'm getting better about #1 but it's really hard to figure out a way around #2. We really do need a kitchen table and chairs. =p

Teresa's Quilt Stash said...

I do not believe we are hoarders (even though are hobbies look that way) as long as we can still function amongst our fabric and other craft stuff. LOL